Delta State Government (DTSG) has reiterated its commitment to ensuring women of reproductive age and children have access to free and quality health services across the state.

The Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Mordi Ononye, made this known in Asaba during a one-day stakeholders’ dialogue on the strategies and reforms to improve maternal health capacity and end preventable maternal and child mortality.

It was organised as part of activities to mark Safe Motherhood Day in the state.

The commissioner who was represented by Dr. (Mrs.) Philomena Okeowo, Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Health, said Safe Motherhood Day was a day set aside to remind everyone of the need for every woman to have access to regular antenatal care, family planning services and the use of skilled birth attendants during delivery.

Dr. Ononye said the Maternal Mortality rate in the state of 189 per 100,000 live births in 2020 was not acceptable as it underscored the need for the state government to prioritise safe motherhood practices, like quality antenatal care, family planning which are pillars of safe motherhood initiative.

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“Let us reaffirm our commitment to promoting safe motherhood. Reducing maternal deaths requires a collective effort from all of us. Governments, healthcare providers, civil society organisations and individuals must all take responsibility to ensure that every woman has access to quality healthcare services with the view to prevent needless deaths and disabilities and also improve the health and well-being of women and their families,” he added.

A Keynote address was given by Dr. Paul Okubor, Director of Hospitals Services/CEO, State Hospitals Management Board, represented by Dr. Lawrence Afinotan.

The Guest Speaker of the occasion, Dr. Andrew Obi, Associate Professor, Public Health/ HoD, Department of Community Health, Centre for Disease Control, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, discussed extensively on “why should a woman die during delivery”.

Highlight of the event was the discussion by the panel of discussants on prevention of maternal mortality and improving maternal health capacity.